City endorses plastic bag ban in downtown, other major changes |

City endorses plastic bag ban in downtown, other major changes

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City supervisors endorsed major changes for downtown Thursday night including a ban on plastic bags in businesses, a new library that includes a performing arts center, a city housing specialist funded in part by a tax hike and incentives for culinary-themed businesses.

Seven committees from a group started by Supervisor Robin Williamson called the Carson City Downtown Consortium presented ideas for downtown ranging from more crosswalks to using inmates to clean up trash.

Supervisors, excluding Mayor Marv Teixeira who wasn’t there, endorsed all of the groups many ideas without criticism. The plans will now go to the city staff who will later recommend how to implement them.

No one from the packed room at the Carson City Community Center criticized the ideas for new regulations and spending either.

Karen Abowd, of the beautification committee, said the plastic bags in businesses needed to be banned “so they’re not flags in the wind.” Supervisors endorsed this idea as well as the committees other plans to strengthen the litter ordinance and eventually fine businesses that “fail to maintain their properties.”

The city needs to be balanced in its decisions, Supervisor Richard Staub said after the meeting, but plastic bags flying around outside look bad.

“Anything we can do to keep downtown clean,” said Staub, who is facing challenger Molly Walt this election.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean, who is running against challenger Dennis Johnson this election, said after the meeting she’d like businesses downtown to voluntarily ban bags, but she did endorse the idea of a ban.

For the proposed new downtown library, voters should get the most for their money so the city should include as much in it as possible, said Linda Ritter, former city manager and head of the civic investment committee.

Some of the ideas include a performing arts center, youth area and business incubator, she said.

The city housing specialist that would be funded through a tax increase and grants to help bring housing downtown was recommended by the housing committee. Incentives, possibly rent assistance, for culinary-themed businesses were recommend by the events committee.

The city also endorsed the idea that it should market itself as culinary center.

Supervisors and members of the consortium also talked about how clean, safe and attractive the downtown that includes the new Laxalt Plaza between the Carson Nugget and Laxalt Building is becoming with its businesses and events.

Jed Block, a member of the consortium, and Supervisor Pete Livermore reminisced about what Carson City was like when they were growing up and said it might be better now than it has ever been.

Block said the downtown is warm and inviting, not like it used to be when he saw methamphetamine users on the street everyday.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.